Toland’s Restaurant – Who Remembers?
by Brian Coll
November 30, 2020
It’s been 18 years since S.C. Toland’s closed it’s doors forever. The Ridge pike staple closed on November 13th 2002. Of course, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Sadly, I won’t be able to tell the whole story either. As with every restaurant, it has a life of it’s own and the people, working there, going there.. help make up what feels like a living breathing thing.
One of the biggest chapters in the story of Toland’s sadly took place mid March 1997 when a fire ripped through the restaurant during dinner hours. Everyone made it out safely. At the time the owner Eddie Cellini vowed to reopen as fast as they could, and he was true to his word because they reopened in December of the same year. They rebuilt on the same footprint. When the fire took place, it was big news. The major news stations in Philadelphia were covering it live. Toland’s was a very popular restaurant and in this area ahead of it’s time.
Toland’s was a first class restaurant, I know our family only went there on special occasions. We were more of a Ponderosa type family… Ponderosa was were the Outback is now on Ridge while Toland’s is where the TD Bank is by Franzone’s. Before TD Bank, there was a Commerce Bank and that is what brought on the permanent closing of Toland’s as Commerce offered to buy the property and within a couple weeks of the sale, Toland’s was knocked to the ground to make way for the bank.
Some of the most talked about items at Toland’s had to have been the soups and crab cakes. They also hosted an Irish coffee contest in which a number of other local restaurants and bars competed. This event was presided over by a friend of mine parents the Dezzi’s, Eleanor and Alfred.
One of the other events to take place there over the years…. we have a number of photos from an event called Celebrity Servers for CP. This event took place in October of 1986 and featured some local celebrities and news personalities.
Side note, Ms. Pat Chiarrocchi is such a kind and sweet person. I personally got to know her over the years working in a restaurant and I always enjoyed our brief conversations over the years.
So, these photos of celebrity servers, they also show off a little of the restaurant. These photos are pre fire and show off what the restaurant looked like in the 80’s. Photo’s by Jack Coll.
Thank you for reading, we would love to hear some of your memories of S.C. Toland’s, and what it meant for you. Maybe tell us your favorite bartender or server, your favorite meal….